You may have noticed over the past several months that there is activity going on in the first floor restaurant in our building. A sign says “Café Liberty”. What is Café Liberty, you might ask? And are they serving food?
Café Liberty is a culinary training program that is assisting military veterans who are unemployed or underemployed. The program professionally trains participants for a lifetime career in the food service industry. It can also serve as a bridge to an advanced culinary institution. And the best part? All of this is done at NO CHARGE to the veteran.
Café Liberty was created by The Dan Gibbons Foundation. This Foundation is probably best known for its annual “Dan Gibbons Turkey Trot” event, which takes place every Thanksgiving morning in Elmhurst. The Turkey Trot was begun in 1984, and since then The Dan Gibbons Foundation has donated nearly $3.9 million dollars to help eradicate hunger in DuPage County. The Dan Gibbons Foundation can be proud that funds it has raised have provided nearly 4 million meals over the past 34 years.
The Café Liberty program is an 11-week training program. The curriculum was developed by the former Executive Chef at Cooking & Hospitality Institute of Chicago-Le Cordon Blue, Cheryl Corrado. She is assisted by Hank Hoekstra, former Chef Instructor at The Institute of Culinary Arts at Robert Morris University.
It costs $2500 to put a vet through the culinary program. As we mentioned above, there is no cost to the vet who takes the Café Liberty training program. All funds are raised by The Dan Gibbons Foundation.
The FT Cares Foundation has announced that Café Liberty will be one of the beneficiaries of this year’s Light the Torch 5K. We are proud that this great organization is doing such a valuable service for our military vets, right here in our own building. Want to help? You can donate HERE.